The Wife, who not always loves her veggies, has fallen for the vegetable that is often the butt of the joke: the brussels sprout. She has had me make this salad three times since I made up the recipe just a few weeks ago. I can't say I'm surprised because this dish has it all: sweet, savory, smoky, and rich. A great dish alongside or instead of greens or green beans, it will be a very unexpected treat on your Thanksgiving table.
15-20 large Brussels sprouts (larger ones work best here)
2 cups whole pecans (roasted & salted)
1/4 cup sugar
4 oz smoked goat feta (smoked goat mozz works too)
golden balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
Start by tearing apart the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the stem-end and pull the leaves apart. This takes some time, but it's worth it. When you get to the core, just split it in half and throw it in with the leaves. Blanch the leaves in boiling water until they turn bright green. This will take about 10-30 seconds. Run the leaves under cold water to stop the cooking. Melt sugar in a large frying pan over high heat. (This is so cool to watch.) Once the edges of the sugar start to melt, stir the sugar until all lumps have disappeared. Remove from heat. Toss the pecans in melted sugar until coated. Transfer to a plate to cool. Cut feta into a small dice.
Now you are ready to assemble the salad. Place 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the dressing is heated through, place leaves into the pan, and toss the dressing with the sprouts. Transfer to a large plate. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts then salt and pepper. This wonderful dish is something you will add to your Thanksgiving meal for years to come. Brussels sprouts are no joke.